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Dig into the perennial joys of gardening

4 min read
Grandfather and grandson playing in backyard with gardening tools

Gardening is so much more than a hobby—it’s a rewarding way of life that yields all kinds of benefits. For older adults, in particular, it promotes physical activity, mental well-being and a deeper connection to nature. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a novice, this article will help you cultivate a flourishing garden and reap all the rewards it offers.

Get a Jump on Planting in the Spring

As things start to green up, the work on your garden can begin in earnest. Whether you’re starting fresh or working on an existing spot, you’ll want to prep the area by clearing away any debris or dead foliage that’s piled up over the winter. Take this opportunity to assess your garden's location and layout too, then make any necessary adjustments or repairs to flower boxes, pots or beds. Keep an eye out for sprouting bulbs that were planted in the fall. When the ground’s warm enough, you can start planting heartier flowers and cold-tolerant veggies too.

Spring Gardening Tips:

  • Start Seeds Indoors: Plant flower seeds and vegetables that require a longer growing season, such as tomatoes or peppers, inside to give them a head start.
  • Prepare the Soil: Enrich the soil with compost or organic matter for optimal plant nutrition. Consider doing a soil test in problem areas to identify what that soil needs. Plant Cool-Season Vegetables: Plant your seeds or transplant seedlings for crops like lettuce, carrots and peas or herbs such as basil and cilantro.

Summer Is Prime Time for Plants

When the sun starts shining, your garden should be in its prime. The seeds and flowers you planted in spring will be bursting into full bloom. Vegetables will start ripening on the vine, offering a bounty of fresh produce for you and your family to enjoy. Summer is a time of abundance, but it also requires an extra level of care and attentiveness to keep your garden thriving throughout the hotter months.

Summer Gardening Tips:

  • Water Regularly: Make sure your plants are all getting enough water, especially during hot, dry spells. Consider installing a drip irrigation system in certain areas to conserve water and send it directly to the roots.
  • Replenish Your Mulch: Apply more mulch around your plants to retain moisture, suppress weeds and regulate the soil temperature.
  • Harvest Frequently: When they’re ready, harvest fruits and vegetables regularly to encourage production and prevent them from getting overripe.

Embrace the Transition to Fall

The gardening season starts to wind down a little in the fall. As you pick those last few vegetables, you can start thinking about what you might do differently next season. You can also plant hearty flowers like mums to enjoy during the transition into cooler months. And be sure to set aside time to plant bulbs before the ground gets too cold.

Fall Gardening Tips:

  • Harvest Fall Crops: Gather the remaining fruits, vegetables, and herbs from your garden before the first frost arrives. Consider preserving or storing excess produce for later use.
  • Plant Spring-Blooming Bulbs: Take advantage of fall planting to sow bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and crocuses for a colorful display in the spring.
  • Clean and Store Equipment: Clean and properly store your gardening tools and equipment to prolong their lifespan and ensure they're ready for use next season.

Rest & Reflect in Winter

Take a cue from your garden in the colder months of winter and enjoy a well-deserved rest. Be sure to protect fragile plants or shrubs from frost with extra mulch and coverings or even bring them inside. Use this quiet period for planning and preparation for the next growing season. While you can’t get outside as much, there are still plenty of ways to keep your garden top of mind.

Winter Gardening Tips:

  • Plan Some Updates: Start researching new plants and varieties now to plan how you’ll incorporate them into your garden the following year.
  • Start Seeds Indoors: Begin sowing seeds indoors for early spring plants or flowers. Find a space with adequate light for optimal seedling growth.
  • Attend Workshops or Classes: Take advantage of gardening workshops, classes, or online resources to expand your knowledge and skills.

Embracing Gardening’s Life Lessons

Gardening is one of the best ways to reconnect to nature and to live a fuller life in general. Beyond the flowers and fruit, the concepts of investing time, nurturing from the start and growing year after year can also be applied to your financial health and long-term planning. Like your garden, a life insurance policy can bring comfort, peace of mind and reduce stress. It’s also a beautiful legacy your family can enjoy after you’re gone.

At Gerber Life, we can help you plant the seeds of a lasting gift for your family. We offer a variety of options, including guaranteed life insurance plans with no medical exams required. Call us today at 1-866-503-4481 to speak with one of our dedicated representatives, or you can get a free quote online.

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